Nature organisation sees government growth plan as a further nail in the coffin for Denmark’s coastline

Nature organisation is critical of the plan

The government’s proposal to further relax planning laws to allow even more building projects closer to Denmark’s coasts, which is part of its new growth plan, has attracted sharp criticism from the nature organisation Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, DR reports.

READ MORE: Government unveils Danish coastal projects

Earlier this year the organisation started an online petition (here, in Danish) to ‘save Denmark’s coastline’, which has already attracted almost 130,000 signatures.

The current coastal zone rules prohibit building within three kilometres of the shore without approval from the nature agency Naturstyrelsen.

Minister eyes shake-up
But Troels Lund Poulsen, the business and growth minister, now wants to allow the construction of more coastal holiday houses, holiday parks and hotels without approval being needed from central government.

“There will be the possibility that if there is a village maybe two and a half kilometres from the coast, you will be able to develop it and there will be the flexibility that municipalities can decide themselves. That’s not something the state should interfere with,” he said.

Destroying beauty
The proposal includes nature protection measures including a provision for a so-called beach protection line, but Ella Maria Bisschop-Larsen, the president of Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, remains critical .

“In reality this is a huge building permit for three quarters of the zone that goes from the coast three kilometres into the land. For generations we have agreed that the coastal zone is a zone where everyone has been able to enjoy the scenery out to the coast and see the water,” she said.

“It will be a battle between municipalities to destroy the most attractive places to attract new residents and tourists.”